W. Austin Gardner
A new city and people to enjoy
In Revelation 21:1 John says that he sees the New Heaven and the New Earth. And then in verse 2, John sees “the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” It is a massive and amazing city.
We also learn in Revelation 21 that there is no sea.
Then, this amazing city called the New Jerusalem is unveiled. And it is unlike any other city in history. Revelation 21:9-23
God creates this new city for us to enjoy that is brilliant and beautiful. And all of God’s people who have been redeemed will be there—Old Testament saints and New Testament saints.
John says that the New Jerusalem is 1,400 miles wide, 1,400 miles long, and 1,400 miles high.
Not counting the height of the city, the New Jerusalem is 1,960,000 square miles. Just to put that into perspective, Los Angeles is 503 square miles. Hong Kong is 426 square miles. New York City is 469 square miles. And São Paulo is 588 square miles.
In this massive city there are three gates on each side and an angel guarding each gate. That’s pretty impressive. And because of our resurrected bodies, we may not need an elevator, but could you imagine an elevator that goes all the way to the top of the city? You talk about a spectacular view. I did a little calculation and an elevator that would go all the way up to the top of the city would have about 740,000 floors.
And as impressive as the size of the city is, what about the people that we will get to meet and hang out with? We will have limitless time in a real city with real people from every era of history. And we will get to hear the great stories of the Bible from people who actually lived it. And they will be able to fill in the gaps and provide the color commentary that we just can’t get by reading the Bible.
And then notice there is no sun or moon. Heaven’s power comes directly from Jesus, and the glory of God is more than enough to light all of Heaven.
You will never be bored. There will be so much to enjoy and see and do and experience.
In verse 22 John says there is no temple in the New Jerusalem. Then, interestingly, he says that God the Father and Jesus are its temple. In the Bible people would go to the temple to encounter God and to meet with Him. In Heaven there will be no need for that because we will be with Him. We will be in constant union and communion with God. We will have a face-to-face relationship with the God and Creator of the universe.
The New Heaven and the New Earth are not limited to just the New Jerusalem. There will be other nations and kings.
Chip Ingram and Lance Witt, The Real Heaven: What the Bible Actually Says (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2016).